Australia’s population has grown by five million people since 2004. In the next 15 years, we will add six million more people to reach 31 million by 2034.
It’s little wonder then that Infrastructure Australia describes significantly increased levels of investment in infrastructure to support this growth as the ‘new normal’ in its 2019 Australian Infrastructure Audit.
This isn’t just a one-off growth spurt. It is the Australian future – and our present reality.
In the process, Australia’s cities are transforming, shaped by economic and social trends which are creating exciting new opportunities for the people who live and work in them.
That also brings significant challenges. Our cities, including the ‘big four’ of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, are already falling behind in their infrastructure needs.
Governments are making the big investments, but this will need to continue for decades to come to ensure our cities are economically productive, high amenity and high liveability.
Infrastructure Australia does the country a great service in setting out these challenges clearly, comprehensively and credibly.
The immediate task now is to ensure that our governments and the community heed its advice – and warnings – and commit to better planning, governance and investment in the infrastructure that a growing nation needs.